• Jess

100 Open Doors: The Frequency of Everyday Holiness

One of the joys of exploring many traditions to find your path is the opportunity to find a multitude of practices and customs which bring with them a sense of deeper connection to the earth, to other than human kin, to spirits and to gods. I think of these as open doors. We can choose to walk past them, to shut them or to walk through them, but they are there all the same.

Years ago, when I began exploring Reform Judaism, I came across a quote from the Talmud which read "Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, “Grow, grow.” While my path lay elsewhere, the idea of a god so in love with their own creation that all of it was protected and supported spoke to me.

Even more surprising to me was the number of opportunities for prayer within a Jewish context. Some people frame them as obligations, while other frame them as invitations for connection. There are prayers recited for everything from waking up to going to the bathroom, to experiencing something for the first time and hearing either good news or bad news. With so many chances for connection, there's the possibility of changing our spiritual relationships from proscribed, time-bound ones to dynamic ones which weave in and out of the rhythm of each day and each moon cycle.

By now, you're probably wondering what this has to do with the path of witchcraft, animism and ancestor reverence. For me, the answer is everything. When we're constructing our own traditions (and the rituals, festivals and practices that go with them), or reconstructing the traditions of our ancestors, there's enormous freedom to honour life transitions that might have been overlooked in the traditions we were raised with. These could be transitions like gender confirmation surgery, recovery from illness, building chosen family, maintaining sobriety, etc.

The power of this is that whatever we might want or need witnessing or recognition of, we can create a practice to honour that. We have a measure of power to make sure that our heartbreak doesn't go unnoticed, that our wisdom is appreciated, even if we only speak of it to the land spirits and our helpful ancestors. This is something I'll explore in-depth in my upcoming workshop "Threads of Time: Weaving Sacred Time" (date to be announced)-- how we create our own rituals and how we adapt old rituals to meet new needs.

It's a valuable insight, that we are always in connection to the sacred, whatever that looks like for us-- there is no time at which it cannot be reached, because it is within and around us. We are folded into the web of it, and in that sense, we are never alone. We shape time as we go, ushering in the seasons, attuning to the moon phases and the ebb and flow of the waters.

We can infuse everything with the sacred and with ritual, from washing the dishes to preparing meals and brewing our evening tea. If there are rituals you need, may you feel emboldened to create them. To hell with whether or not they're "real" because they're not ancient and well-worn.

Taking your meds can be a healing ritual. Leaving a job which harms you is a reclaiming of independence and self-worth. Your rituals can be as simple as lighting a candle and singing a praise song or as elaborate as a day of silent meditation, ceremonial drumming and ritual cleansing. It can be performed in a few quiet minutes in your bathroom or under the wide expanse of a local beach, surrounded by your beloveds.

How many doors of holiness will you choose to pass through today? How much more supported and cared for could you feel by honouring the large and small miracles of each day?

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